Message from Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel
Chief of the Commission and Tribunals

(October 25, 2016)

Recent Discriminatory Incidents Across Alberta

"There have been a number of incidents over the past few months that are cause for great concern.

"There have been two incidents in Edmonton where racial slurs uttered towards fellow Edmontonians were caught on camera.

"This past June a family from Alberta's Siksika First Nation were subjected to an assault and a verbal attack in Banff, which was also caught on camera.

"This fall, Alberta's two largest post-secondary institutions-the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary-have been shrouded with xenophobic posters denouncing Sikhs and Muslims. This fall, Alberta's two largest post-secondary institutions-the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary-have been shrouded with xenophobic posters denouncing Sikhs and Muslims.

"And most recently, the Islamic Centre of South Calgary was vandalized, with a burnt copy of the Quran and a hateful letter left on the other side of a broken glass door.

"This is not the Alberta that I know. Nor is this the Alberta in which I want to live. The Alberta I know appreciates and values the diverse racial, religious and cultural composition of our communities.The Alberta I know respects the freedom to practice the religion of one's choice and live in communities that are free from racism and discrimination. And the Alberta I know embraces diversity and encourages diverse, inclusive and respectful communities. There is no room for hatred and intolerance in our province.

"In response to these incidents, I call on all Albertans to recommit to the principle that, in Alberta, all persons are equal in dignity, rights and responsibilities without regard to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.

"I encourage all Albertans to live the values set out in the Alberta Human Rights Act and to promote the ideal that all Albertans have the right to live in a province that respects, values and celebrates our differences, which only serve to make us stronger."



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